Finding Your Inner Divinity

Finding Your Inner Divinity, by Angelica Danton

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

Myths and legends have always fascinated me, and my favorite legends were always those involving the ancient Gods and Goddesses. As a child, I would rush to the library to get the latest books on the gods. It didn't matter to me if I read about Norse, Roman, Greek, or Chinese myth—all were fascinating. The energy of the divine was always slightly larger than life, and the morals contained in these fabulous stories from every country on earth instinctively felt like truth to me.

Even then, I realized that on one level these stories were fantasy. On a deeper level, however, I understood that they were moral stories and that I had much to learn from and see in them. Nothing pleased me more than their diversity, how one myth reflected the divine in one culture and the other reflected it in another, perhaps on the other side of the world. Surely, I felt, we are all interconnected no matter what race or culture we come from. We are linked in the divine spirit somehow.

Later, as my interest in the spiritual realm grew due to the influence of my family members, I also became fascinated with astrology. My grandmother, Eileen, always bought almanacs for the astrological year and I quickly became familiar with the interpretations of the signs. I noted from my readings that celestial bodies such as Venus and Mars were mentioned in myth and in astrology. I loved finding the meaning and connections in astrology and myth.

I also loved literature and poetry (which I was to study at some depth at university), and noted how poets such as Shelley and Byron used concepts of the gods to deepen their poetry. No matter what I read, I seemed to come back to the gods.

At the age of 12, I declared to the family that I was going to be a Pagan. When asked why, I answered that as a Pagan I could experience freedom of thought and philosophy whereas a religion with a single god might limit me.

Finding the Goddess as a adult woman was a little different. I became aware that identifying with the ancient goddesses freed us in many ways from the stereotyped images we seem to have acquired in our respective cultures. I had always looked to the gods and to the stars for answers, and over time I became convinced that the Goddess could free me to experience myself in an amazing and ultimately liberating way. I could express anger in a healthy way and allow myself to feel it, if justified. Or I could be brave and remember the power of the warrior Goddesses. I could have my own unique style and not necessarily look or copy other women because each Goddess was unique and had different powers and aspects. I need not look outside myself for approval because the divine soul was within me, too. Finding the Goddess within myself was a major part of my spiritual growth and development and helped me face life's challenges in a new way.

I started doing readings at a local new age shop. This allowed me to connect with many other women who felt the same way about the Goddess in their lives. It seemed strange to me that more people in my country (Australia) were not interested in writing about Her, although the word Goddess was being used to promote everything from pop stars to perfume. A lot of women related to Her and talked about Her energy in their lives, but few knew of published books that discussed the Goddess energy level in Australia. Some Pagan women authors mentioned Her in books on Wicca, but these were mainly for overseas audiences, or specifically for Wiccan groups.

As the Internet became more popular in the late 1990s, this changed. More women seemed to be interested in Goddess concepts, but I felt that the real meaning and energy of the Goddess was not coming through in everyday writing for women. I understood (and of course respected) the fact that She is important in the study of Wicca. But she also plays a role in so many other cultures and religions that I felt her appeal should be emphasized no matter what country, culture, or indeed belief system you come from. The Pagan and Wiccan movements began the new interest in her, and that was great—indeed, I personally relate to Her in this way. Still I felt it was my mission to present her in yet another aspect—in the light of a new astrological system.

To my understanding, the Age of Aquarius is a time of new thoughts and systems of thinking that will ultimately lead to a new wave of consciousness on our planet. Religion as it has been will change, and a different free spirituality will emerge. This new spirituality will truly unite all peoples as they realize that they are all potentially divine beings, and that they are all more alike than they are different from one another. In the song "Age of Aquarius" from the '60s musical Hair they sang, "and the mind to liberation." To me, this means that in order to be original and different we need to break free of outdated concepts and ideas in order to realize our true potential.

As my understanding of Goddess power and my loves of Pagan ritual and astrology grew, I began to long for a view of the Goddess that was both personalized and also showed her incredible diversity. Which type am I? I felt I could sometimes identify with all of her aspects in different ways. Which ones would be the best for me to work with in ritual, or invoke during times of need?

The ancients felt a deep personal connection with the Goddess. But recently she has become such an intellectual concept that we find it hard to make her as much a part of our daily lives as she may have been in ancient Greece or Rome.

Over time, as I began to do more and more astrology readings for friends, I learned about eastern astrology and its amazing animal zodiac. Over time, I began to see a connection between the animals and the Goddesses. How amazing, I thought, that all these animals have been venerated alongside the Goddesses by people all over the world. Maybe I could create a new system of astrology linking these ideas and helping women tune into a more personalized energy of the goddess by understanding their animal nature. This is how my book, Goddess Signs, came to be written.

I divided the Goddesses into 5 major aspects: the Earth Goddess, the Moon Goddess, the Sun Goddess, the Dark Goddess, and the Warrior Goddess. Each of these Goddess energies expresses itself in a unique and powerful way in each woman. To find out which one you are, simply check your animal sign and find out! Along the way, you'll learn how you relate to others, learn about your animal sign energy, and discover special rituals to use your Goddess energy for true empowerment. I also include a look at men and their divine energy according to their animal sign, including some celebrity examples.

I have used this system in my readings and workshops and have been assured it has aided many women. Any system of astrology that is understood and used in the correct spirit is a powerful tool. I truly believe that we are the stuff of stars, and that in a soul aspect we are all divine. When we lose our ability to dream and see the beauty of myth and legend, we lose the most important part of ourselves—our spiritual selves and the world of inner truth. The beauty of astrology is its truth and its universality, surely something we need to dwell on in this troubled and divided time. The beauty of the Goddess myth is also her truth and her universality. So, in Goddess Signs, I have tried to emphasize these connections.

I hope women enjoy my book and find their own truths in it. I also would like them to explore further. Don't take my word for it! Test out my system and see how it works for you. As a practicing astrologer I can tell you that it can definitely be of a practical help. Of course it is not exhaustive, and many other systems can personalize the Goddess, too. But what I love about the Chinese Animal Signs is how we instinctively feel so close to the animal spirit. I have always loved animals and bringing my two favorite worlds together is a delight. I hope you enjoy it too!

Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2004. All rights reserved.